Bimoba tribe traditional dancers from Nakpanduri in Northern Ghana.

Bimoba tribe traditional dancers from Nakpanduri in Northern Ghana.

Bimoba tribe traditional dancers from Nakpanduri in Northern Ghana. The Bimoba people also known historically as the Bimawba, B`Moba, Moba, Moare, and Moab, are Gur-speaking (Gurma) cluster of peoples living in upper west and northern regions Ghana; and in the west of Sansanne-Mongo and in the mountainous zone of the Dapango (Dapaong) region in northern Togo.

They see themselves as truly, "The People of Yennu (Creator/Supreme God)." They are less developed and less organised than mainstream Ghanaian ethnic groups and the surrounding tribes such as Mamprusi, Kusasi, or Dagomba’s. The Bimoba are noted for staying on hilly lands and high ground, sometimes with huge rock outcrops.
The Bimoba are mystical people and wields one of the potent spiritual charms amongst the tribes in the Northern territories of Ghana and Togo. It is believed that their reliance on their traditional African spiritual secret charms has been the basis of their survival as a small tribe sandwiched between powerful and larger ethnic groups. You underestimate a Bimoba at your own peril, for a Bimoba (boy or girl) is spiritually bathed from infancy and initiated into various secret cults of their culture before adulthood.

From Nakpanduri to Bunkpurugu, Bimoba have sought to settle in elevated lands, perhaps to spot enemies advancing from a distance, or for some other reason. This preference for elevated land appears to have become part of their social fibre, and to translate as self-esteem or self-respect.
There is no exact figure of the size of the Bimoba Tribe. Most of the written sources estimate the total population of the Bimoba around 300.000. The Bimoba clans are spread throughout the upper west of Togo, the Upper East Region and the north-eastern tip of the Northern Region of Ghana.
The Bimoba tribe has its own language: Moar. The classification of the language is: Niger-Congo, Atlantic–Congo, Volta–Congo, Central, Northern, Oti-Volta, Guma, Moba. The language is related to the Moba, Togo, but not inherently intelligible with it. The language consists of 23 characters and is spoken by the Bimoba only. The Summer Language Institute’s catalogue of languages of the world (14th edition, 2004) estimates the number of Moar speakers at 76.000, but this is an under-estimation since all Bimoba in Ghana speak Moar. Most of the Bimoba speak different varieties of Moar.The language has been described in the mid-sixties. Some missionaries wrote a language course, but Moar is still mainly an oral language. Recently some schoolbooks have been written to teach the language. There are two books in Moar: one private publication by the Canadian missionary society containing some clan stories (not dated, but most likely around 1990) and The Bimoba Bible (new testament only) published in 1986.

BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

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